California’s governor on Friday signed a sex crimes bill authored in the aftermath of Brock Turner’s assault case.
The law’s passage is the latest development in the fallout surrounding the Oakwood High School graduate’s 2015 sexual assault of a woman at Stanford University and his subsequent sentencing, which many decried as lenient.
Turner was released Sept. 2 from a California jail after serving three months of a six-month sentence tied to the assault of the unconscious, intoxicated woman. He faced a maximum 14 years in prison, and the judge who sentenced him faces a recall effort.
Days before his release, the California State Assembly unanimously passed the bill proponents say will ensure convicted sexual assailants serve prison time instead of a jail sentences.
Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat who said he usually opposes adding more mandatory minimum sentences, signed the bill arguing it “brings a measure of parity to sentencing for criminal acts that are substantially similar.”
Through his attorney, Turner declined to comment to the Dayton Daily News. The 21-year-old is serving three-years probation and is registered as a Tier III sex offender in Greene County.
More than two dozen groups dedicated to ending campus sexual assaults urged Brown to veto the bill, fearing the punishment would more likely be applied to minority and lower-income defendants, or that it would discourage victims from reporting.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, a Republican, told the Dayton Daily News no such law exists here, but he would favor one.
Brown also signed a bill permitting sexual assault victims to say in court that they were raped, even if the attack doesn’t meet the California law’s technical definition of rape as nonconsensual intercourse between a man and a woman, leaving out other forms of sexual assault, including Turner’s attack, which involved penetration.
The rape definition that came under fire in the Turner case leaves Brown in an awkward position as he promotes a November ballot initiative that would allow earlier parole consideration for nonviolent inmates to curb overcrowding. Turner’s crimes were considered nonviolent under state law because he assaulted a person who could not resist, so he didn’t have to use force.
Original article posted by Dayton Daily News
By Will Garbe
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